Friday, June 28, 2013

Dr. Ian Dunbar's Training Tips

Morris K9 Campus was proud to welcome Dr. Ian Dunbar, celebrated Veterinarian, Animal Behaviorist and Author, to our facility on June 15 and 16. Dr. Ian Dunbar’s workshop and Q&A were fun for both dogs and humans alike. Not only was the event enjoyable, it was also very educational. Dr. Dunbar discussed some crucial information about training your dog. Training is meant to be fun for both of you. It not only can strengthen the bond between dog and owner, it also can be beneficial for your dog to know commands for everyday situations.

One of the major points that Dr. Dunbar mentioned was, “it is okay to give your dogs treats, but you can’t have your dog’s behavior contingent on you having food in your hand.” Essentially, you want your dog to listen to your command the second you tell them to do something, regardless of whether or not you have a treat in your hand. Keep in mind that in order to get to that point in your dogs training, you will need to do a lot of training using treats first. You cannot expect your dog to do exactly what you want without them during your very first training session. 

Another point that Dr. Dunbar made was about dogs that do not eat food when they are being trained. If your dog has issues eating during training and doesn’t seem to be very treat motivated, there are things that you can do in order to get your pooch to eat. Dr. Dunbar’s first advice is to no longer let your dog eat out of a bowl; instead, every time they eat, they should eat out of your hand. He also recommended that you stop using high value treats, such as chicken, and only use kibble when working on training with your dog. If you only train your dog using kibble, the kibble will become a driving force for your dog and commands won’t be reliant on having a high value treat in your hand.  

Training should be fun and beneficial for you and your dog. When done correctly, it can help you in any situation. Training takes time and practice. If you are consistent and work hard, you and your pooch will both see the benefits. For training assistance at your pace, sign up for one of our Levels Training Orientation classes to learn more about how Morris K9 Campus can help you and your pet put Dr. Dunbar's training tips into action. Our training methods follow Dr. Dunbar's philosophies, and we agree, training should be fun! Call us at 973-212-5100 today!


  1. Great post. My boyfriend and I were talking about getting a dog so I have been doing as much research as possible. I know that he or she will be in dog training in Baltimore when we first get him or her because I don't know how to properly train a dog. I would have done what you just said not to. Always reward with treats or food. Thanks for the great information.

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